A giant mirage manifested in the mist on top of one of the most famous mountains in East China on Nov. 1.
Known as a Brocken specter, this natural phenomenon occurs when the observer’s giant magnified shadow is cast on the top of clouds opposite the sun. It can happen on a cloud bank or misty mountain, but was first seen at a German peak called the Brocken which regularly has fogs at low altitude.
Under certain conditions, planes can also create Brocken specters which are referred to as the Pilot’s Glory.
Sometimes the shadow is even surrounded by rainbow halos or glories as can be seen from this footage taken at Mount Huangshan.
Such optics have been recorded in China since A.D. 63, and are referred to as “Buddha’s light.” They’re commonly seen on cloud-shrouded mountains like Mount Emei, and were thought to signify a person’s enlightenment quality.
When seen in the Tatra Mountains between Poland and Slovakia, a Brocken specter was meant to be an omen of that person’s death, unless he saw it three times in which case he would never die in the mountains.